More than two months after the shocking slaying of a Maryland woman, the truth has finally come to light. And what we have learned is not what anyone expected to hear. The implications of the crime go way beyond a sad case of domestic violence. It goes to the very heart of modern society and its beliefs and practices.
On December 1. 2018, 52-year-old Jacqueline Smith died of stab wounds, allegedly committed by a panhandler who ‘got too close to her vehicle’ in downtown Baltimore. The story raised nationwide attention because of the fear incited by the accusation.
With nearly every major city in the country dealing with problems associated with the homeless population, this allegations added a new and terrifying component to the conversation.
The investigation into the vicious crime has now taken a dramatic and disturbing turn. It appears the attack was a plot carried out by family members who had tried to garner public sympathy right after Jacqueline’s death.
“Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Keith Smith, 52, of Aberdeen, and Valeria Smith, 28, of Baltimore, were arrested Sunday morning in Harlingen, Texas, near the Mexico border.”
Keith is Jacqueline's husband and Valeria is his daughter. The two were with Jacqueline at the time of her death.
“Cameron Co TX Magistrate Court: Keith and Valeria Smith have been arraigned, held without bail. Next step: extradition hearing. Pair charged with killing Keith Smith's wife in Baltimore..claimed panhandlers did it.”
“Cameron Co DA in stmt said case ‘generating national interest because Smiths accused of fabricating an elaborate story in which..victim was killed by panhandlers’.”
Jacqueline Smith’s husband Keith claimed, at the time, that he and Valeria were riding in the car with Jacqueline on December 1st at 1:15 in the afternoon when his wife saw a woman with a cardboard sign that read, ‘Please help me feed my baby,’ and she decided to give the woman some money.
Jacqueline, “who was riding in the passenger seat, rolled down her window to give the woman some money when a man approached the car, thanked the family for the money and then reached into the car to grab Smith's wallet," police said.
"The man stabbed [Jacqueline] Smith in the torso before he and the woman ran away," the original police report said.
In an emotional interview after his wife's murder, Keith Smith said that when he, reluctantly, rolled down the window, a man appeared from nowhere, saying “Can I thank her?”
“‘And as he did that -- and I'm not thinking he's going to do what he did -- he commenced stabbing my wife, Smith said.”
Keith then added that the man stole his wife’s necklace and the woman with the baby grabbed her purse before they took off on foot.
No motive has been released in the killing, but authorities say that information will be reserved for the trial. Smith and his daughter have both been charged with nine counts, including first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and being an accessory after the fact.
Keith Smith is no stranger to the life of crime. In 1999 and again in 2000, Jacqueline’s husband committed armed robbery.
“In 1999 & 2000 murder suspect Keith Smith robbed same bank in Timonium 3x, took ~ $60k, told cops he was HIV positive and needed the money, court records, police reports say. MO: used gun to order tellers to floor”
“After the murder Smith’s husband said, ‘be careful, when we see these pan handlers getting in close proximity of your car. Because like me, I’m from Baltimore, I never thought they were going to take my wife’s life and so now I have to live with that every day’.”
Jacqueline’s mother reacted to the arrest:
“Reached by phone, mother of Jacquelyn Smith tells me she is ‘overjoyed’ to hear of arrest in the case. I asked if she thought husband might allegedly be involved. ‘Oh yes,’ she said ‘from the beginning. Jacquelyn was cautious, not stupid’.”
Jacqueline's brother also had a nagging suspicion that all was not as Keith Smith claimed.
“Jacqueline Smith’s brother says murder suspect Valeria Smith should not be considered her stepdaughter... says the two had a rocky relationship at best. Here he is on possible motive. Police say Valeria and her dad Keith made up the story she was killed by a panhandler”
Please join us in praying for Jacqueline's family as they not only mourn the loss of a wonderful person but also deal with the bitter betrayal by the person closest to her.